Archive | November, 2011

Fall // Apple Cider

21 Nov

Those of you who know me best know that I have a deep rooted passion for understanding how things are made from its raw materials – especially when it comes to food. That’s why when my work’s group trip to the apple orchard fell through due to bad weather I was stoked to see that there was an apple tree right in the backyard of where I was already!

I thought, screw the apple orchard, I’ll pick apples here and try to make my own cider!
I based my recipe loosely off of City Mom’s.

Apple Cider

Wash, core and quarter,
as many apples as you think can fit in your largest pot or,
as many apples you can pick that worms haven’t gotten at
(I’d recommend a sweet-ish variety – Macintosh, Gala, etc)

Add apples to pot and just cover with,
cold water
3 inch cinnimon stick
1 lemon quartered

Bring to a boil covered. Once it boils, remove lid and boil for one hour.

Turn heat to low and simmer with lid on for 2 hours.

Remove from heat, cool at room temperature and strain.

I recommend serving each cup gently heated with,
a touch of honey
(and 1 oz rum or whiskey)

This was the best apple cider I’d ever tasted.

Diwali // Butternut Squash Stuffed Naan, Eggplant Coconut Curry, Saffron Rice, Cranberry Chutney

1 Nov

The festival of lights of the Hindu religion. This holiday takes a likeness to a New Years celebration. From what I’ve read, this is a holiday to wrap up old business dealings, get together with family members and welcome in Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and abundance.

I’ve always loved reading into Hindu celebrations because they’re so rich in symbolism so I’m sure I’m missing out on 99% of what it’s all about but it didn’t stop me from being inspired to make the most EPIC MEAL EVER. Diwali food fare is usually highlighted with many sweets but.. I’m surprisingly not into desserts so….

Saffron Rice and Stuffed Naan

Butternut Squash Stuffed Naan

I used the Whole Wheat Naan bread recipe from Monsoon Spice because I didn’t want to risk substituting Spelt flour for White flour since Spelt has more similar baking properties to Whole Wheat.

I changed their recipe to make 6 stuffed Naan instead of 12 long thin Naan’s.
I also added 2 tbsp toasted cumin to the dough, Add it in with the flour.

I stuffed it with
1 Bunch Kale, steamed, chopped and tossed with
3 cloves garlic, minced and
a pinch of salt

and, of course,
1 small roasted butternut squash, mashed with
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
1 tsp garam masala
a pinch of salt

Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle course sea salt on top.
Bake at 400 on a buttered baking sheet for 10 min.

Cranberry Chutney

In a medium saucepan, sautee in sunflower oil on med heat,
1 onion, halved and sliced
until transparent.

Add to pot,
1 apple, cubed
1 inch ginger, minced
1 tsp cinnimon

Sautee for a few minutes then add,
1 bag of Upper Canada cranberries

1/2 cup water

Stir occasionally. Cook this on medium until you start hearing the cranberries pop and turn into the consistency you want.
Sweeten to taste with
Maple Syrup, about 1/4 cup.

Now, the rest of the meal was taken from this book:

This author traveled all over Asia and collected authentic recipes and published them = my dream one day.

The Saffron Rice
was a lot of work for not that great of a result, but that’s only because I scaled it down by eye.

The jist is, to 1 cup dry brown rice in a small pot add:
1 cinnimon stick
1/2 tsp saffron
(or tumeric – it’s more to get that yellow colour)
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp cumin seeds
add 2 cups of water
Bring to a boil on med then simmer with the lid on until cooked through, about 20min

Eggplant Coconut Curry with Green Beans

1 tsp salt on
1 medium eggplant,
sliced on a diagonal
and leave to sit for 10min to draw out bitter juices.

Meanwhile steam,
1 cup green beans, tipped and halved.

Wipe off liquid on eggplant and sprinkle slices with
1 tsp saffron (or curry powder)

3 tbsp oil in a deep cast iron pan or medium sauce pan,
Fry eggplant until soft, 10 min and remove from pan.

Fry, for 1 min
1 large onion, thinly sliced and
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced.

Add to pan and stir on med heat for 1 min,
1 inch fresh ginger, thinly sliced,
8 dry chillies,
2 tsp mustard seeds,
2 tsp fish sauce

1 stalk fresh lemongrass.

Pour in, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 min
1 1/2 cups coconut milk.

Add eggplant and beans and cook until tender.
Season to taste with,
lime juice and 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped.


Make this for yourself if you have 3 hours lying around because then you’ll have dinner for the next 5 nights and breakfast (Naan, chutney and 1 egg..) for 5 mornings. Or invite lots of people and have plenty of fresh yoghurt and have a Bollywood night.